The year 2021 came with a bunch of highs and lows and one of the only saving graces was watching our favourite athletes compete their hearts out. We have put together a list of the biggest newsmakers of 2021 bid adieu to this very eventful year. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. In 2021, he scored 7 goals in the Premier League and 6 goals in UEFA Champions League. With a massive following of 383M on Instagram, he is one of the most followed pages on the platform. Cristiano Ronaldo made the headlines this summer because of his transfer from Italian giants Juventus to Manchester United.   

2. Virat Kohli: Kohli is adored in India for his skills as a player and as the captain of the Indian team. He has a following of 175M on Instagram and 45.6 on Twitter. In 2021 itself, he played 11 matches in which he scored 536 runs with an average of 28.21. He made the papers as he stepped down as T20 captain for team India and was also replaced by Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain.

3. Neeraj Chopra: The 24-year-old was all over the news for his incredible performance and medal in the Olympics. He aced the javelin throw which was the only gold for India this year.

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4. Lionel Messi: Lionel Andrés Messi also known as Lionel Messi is a professional footballer and plays for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain. The 34-year-old footballer was forced out of Barcelona after the club could not afford to keep him, which made the headlines. In 2021, he scored 4 goals in Copa América, 5 in the UEFA Champions League and 1 in Ligue 1.

5. Max Verstappen: The Dutch racer won his first Formula 1 title in controvertial fashion, denying Lewis Hamilton his record eighth World Championship after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12. One of the most thrilling title races in recent years, both Verstappen and Hamilton went into the race with 369.5 points each. Verstappen won the race in the final lap after overtaking Hamilton following a controvertial safety car restart. 

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Sports has truly been one of the very few things we looked forward to this year. Sports and our idols have united us even during difficult times and that is what makes it so special.